Friday, June 28, 2013

The Hidden Art of Homemaking - Drama (Part 2)

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Chapter 10 - Drama (Part 2)

Two more things I want to mention. The first is the use of audio books. Audio books are a wonderful resource for adding dramatics to your home or just acquaint your child with an excellent reading of a book. Of course, not every narrator will be pleasing to the ear. It's okay just skip it or if your kids like it plug your own ears!

I had to teach myself listen to audio books and even now I usually only listen in the car back and forth to work. My kids, on the other hand, enjoy audio books, especially Destini. I have a hard time finding ones for her and lately we have resorted to using (This is not my favorite resource. There are a few good narrators and then we usually only pick the books that have been read by one person.).

Some favorites in the Starr house:
  • Me - Anne of Green Gables Series read by Barbara Caruso, All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot read my Christopher Timothy
  • Dad - The Little Britches Series by Ralph Moody read by Cameron Beierle
  • Caleb - The Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander (There is a reader my son prefers. Unfortunately he isn't here to tell me.)
  • Destini - Thy Mysterious Benedict Society & Prequel by Trenton Stewart, read by Del Roy (This man's voice gets on my nerves, but my kids love these books so I plug my ears.)
  • Chantry - The Melendy Quartet by Elizabeth Enright, read by Pamela Dillman
  • Delani - She prefers mom's reading.
The second is a recommendation for those who are trying to teach poetry to your children. I highly recommend a chapter from the book Penny Candy by Jean Kerr called  "The Poetry and the Peasants" . Years ago I read this post from the The Common Room and later I actually came across the book and had to read it, (yes, the whole book, but I'm weird that way.).  It is humorous yet inspirational little story of a family trying to instill 'culture' into their family.

More from this series:
Chapter 1 (The First Artist)
Chapter 2 (What is Hidden Art?)
Chapter 3 (Music)
Chapter 4 (Painting, Sketching, Sculpturing)
Chapter 5 - Part 1 (Interior Decoration)
Chapter 5 - Part 2 (Interior Decoration)
Chapter 6 (Gardens and Gardening)
Chapter 7 (Flower Arrangements)
Chapter 8 (Food)
Chapter 9 (Prose & Poetry)
Chapter 10 - Drama (Part I)

I am linking up with Cindy at Ordo Amoris.

The Hidden Art of Homemaking - Drama (Part I)

{affiliate links enclosed}

Chapter 10 - Drama (Part 1)

With two girls (plus myself) I think sometimes there is quite a bit of drama in the house. Of course, that is not the kind of drama that Mrs. Schaeffer is talking about, but....

Okay back to the topic. When I think of the word drama I think of plays and poetry recitations to name a few and while there are are well and good sometimes they aren't always feasible. Mrs. Schaeffer gives such a great and easy suggestions for adding drama as a 'hidden art' to your home--reading aloud!
Reading aloud is the best outlet that I know of for hidden dramatic ability. It is the development of speaking ability, and the least complicated exercise for the use of one's voice and expression. p.148
I have had to work hard to make reading aloud a 'hidden art' in our house. I still haven't figured out to to have a family read aloud time, but 2-3 kids out of 4 is better than none! Of course, I'm fighting my 'ideal' picture of what reading aloud looks like in our home vs. what actually happens.

I think my oldest, Caleb, is the one who has received the short end of the stick in this department. Thankfully, I did read aloud a lot of his history books and a few of his literature books until I needed him to be more independent in his work.

Having my two middle children, Destini and Chantry, do the same year from Ambleside Online has helped me carve out a time for read alouds. We have had some great times reading aloud such books as Swallows and Amazons, Half Magic, The Princess and the Goblin, The Reb and the Redcoats , and so many more. I also read aloud their history books and science book to them aloud. We all tolerate the science and then just hang on to every word of history. Destini is very capable of doing all the history and science readings on her own, but it is something I really enjoy doing and I can't give it up. It is as Mrs. Schaeffer describes:
You are plunged into the life of the characters in the book, you identify with another moment of history, another part of the world, another person's imagination--and you exchange glances of amusement, excitement, appreciation, understanding-or you laugh aloud together. p.149
Even though Delani, the youngest, has been grown up and hearing me read aloud to the other kids I did struggle for awhile to carve out a time to read books to her. In the last year or so I have been more intentional in doing this and it has really paid off. She loves books and loves to be read to. Even though she is five we still read a lot of picture books, but then again I enjoy picture books and have even been know to cry over them.

I have also been able to expose my kids to doing a little drama with poetry recitations and some puppet shows. The three older kids have competed in a competition that is offered for our church organization. Both boys have done poetry recitations and Caleb and Destini have done puppet shows. Destini is my one who has a flair for drama, but really struggles with getting up in front of people so she gets to hide behind the puppet screen.

Reading Julius Caesar. Yes, they insist on reading Shakespeare
standing up!

Another way I have been able to add drama to our house is with reading Shakespeare. A couple of years ago I asked a couple of older girls in church if they would be interested in coming over and reading through a Shakespeare play and they did. Now after almost two years we get together almost every Sunday evening and read through our current play. Right now we have five reading and soon I'll have Chantry join us. This has been a fun way of doing Shakespeare.

In my mind I have the perfect picture of the whole family gathered in the living room while I read aloud, but unfortunately it never looks like that. Many times when we get really busy the read aloud time just falls to the wayside. Since it something I really enjoy doing and know that it is good to do as a family I just keep striving for my 'ideal' and maybe one day I'll reach it since I truly desire what Mrs. Schaeffer is encouraging in this chapter--being together.

Since I'm getting long winded here and I had just a couple of more thoughts I'm going to stop here and put my other thoughts in another post.

scroll dividers photo: SCROLL curlicue.gif
Chantry's poetry recitation - It's All In Him
Caleb's poetry recitation - The Church and the World
More from this series:
Chapter 1 (The First Artist)
Chapter 2 (What is Hidden Art?)
Chapter 3 (Music)
Chapter 4 (Painting, Sketching, Sculpturing)
Chapter 5 - Part 1 (Interior Decoration)
Chapter 5 - Part 2 (Interior Decoration)
Chapter 6 (Gardens and Gardening)
Chapter 7 (Flower Arrangements)
Chapter 8 (Food)
Chapter 9 (Prose & Poetry)

I am linking up with Cindy at Ordo Amoris.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Reading Journal - Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens (Audio Book)

Book Description:
Born and raised in the appalling deprivation of the workhouse, orphan Oliver escapes the drudgery of apprenticeship and heads for London, only to fall into the hands of the notorious Fagin and his gang of child thieves. But Oliver is an innocent at heart, and the attempts by Fagin and the impudently witty Artful Dodger to teach him the tricks of the pick-pocket’s trade lead only to his almost immediate capture. His subsequent rescue, by the kindly Mr. Brownlow, is only the beginning of a series of adventures that lead him to an incredible discovery.
My thoughts:
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens is a book that is coming up for one of next school years literature selections for Destini and Chantry. I have been trying to be more intentional and read ahead so I know what they are talking about when they come and narrate to me. Plus, it makes me look better in their eyes if I have read it!

I have only read one Dicken's book which was The Pickwick Papers and to be honest that wasn't an easy read. I decided to listen to it on audio book to make the thought of reading Dickens a little less scary. Well, I really didn't need to be worried. Oliver Twist is a much different book than The Pickwick Papers .

I wasn't that far into the story when I could kind of see where the story was heading and how it would probably end, though I didn't know exactly how or hadn't figured out how each character fit into the story. That didn't make the story any less appealing, though, due to Dicken's great description's of the places that Olive went and lived and also all the interesting people that Oliver's life touched in some way whether good or bad.It was amazing how I could be swayed from love to hatred in just seconds. I definitely felt a whole gamut of emotions.  I think I held my breath for most of the story.

I was also in suspense the whole time to see if poor Oliver would truly escape from Fagin and Monks. And then there was the awful robber, Bill Sikes, and poor Nancy, that even though I knew what would happen to her in the end, I still was horrified when she died. Thankfully it was balanced out with all the characters that showed such love to Oliver--Mr. Brownlow, Mrs. Maylie, and Rose.

The narrator, Martin Jarvis, does a wonderful job of reading this book. He uses quite variety of voices and they were all excellent. When he does the voice of Fagin, I think I had a chills go up and down my spine every time. He makes him sound that creepy!

This book will definitely be going on the list to read, though I can't decide if I will read it aloud or let them use the audio book. I'm kind of leaning toward reading aloud since it does deal with some heavy topics. My oldest hasn't read it and I think it would be great for him to join us in it.

If your only knowledge of Oliver Twist is from a cartoon film (like mine was) I urge to go check out Oliver Twist immediately and acquaint yourself with the real Oliver. I don't think you will be disappointed!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

What's On Your Nightstand - June

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What's On Your Nightstand
I am running late in getting this posted. You would think with only two kid in the house this week I would be on top of it. I picked out five book, but I can't say I feel overly committed to reading all of them. If I find something that just reaches out to me I may pick one of those up instead. We will see.

My June Nightstand:

From my May Nightstand:
I also read:
  • Johnny Tremain* by Esther Forbes (review)
  • Miss Julia Stirs Up Trouble by Ann B. Ross - Miss Julia is out to fix the everyone's world around her. Of course, she is always getting involved in something she should not be involved in.
  • Whose Body? (The Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries) by Dorothy Sayers - Another book finished off of my The Classic Club list. Review forthcoming
  • Brave Writer's Help for High School by Julie Bogart - A help for the high school student in writing essays. This is written to the student to do and work along with. Unfortunately, it is not a good fit for my student. 
I listened to:
  • Dumb Witness by Agatha Christie - Still working my way through the Poirot mysteries.
  • Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens - I loved this book. Another book for my The Classics Club List. Review forthcoming.
*Read alouds.

See what others have read over at 5 Minutes for Books.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is hosted by Should be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
•Grab your current read
•Open to a random page

•Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
•BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
•Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Whose Body? (The Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries) by Dorothy Sayers
"I'm sure it must have been uncommonly distressin'," said Lord Peter, sympathetically, "especially comin' like that before breakfast. Hate anything tiresome happenin' before breakfast. Takes a man at such a confounded disadvantage, what?" Kindle 3%

Monday, June 24, 2013

The Homeschool Mother's Journal - Convention Time

My Homeschool Mother's Journal post is a little late and is going to be short and sweet.
I attended Oregon's homeschool convention and by the time I got home last night I was worn out. I didn't get to hear as many speakers as I wanted since I worked in the Mystery of History booth for a couple of hours on Friday and did some volunteer work in the used curriculum sale on Saturday. I did have a good time, though I still will have to place a couple of orders to complete what we need for next year. So here is what happened this week.
  1. The Father's Day gifts I made for the men in church last Sunday. They were filled with all kinds of goodies for "Pop"--Tootsie Pops, Pop Tarts, popcorn & a bottle of pop.
  2. Father's Day 2013.
  3. I gave Delani the job of folding towels. Gripe, gripe, gripe, but she eventually got it finished. It is funny that when her brothers or sister fold towels she is always willing to help and will even do it all, but when mom says to do it a whole new attitude arises.
  4. Chantry celebrated his 11th birthday!
  5. All my goodies I bought at the homeschool convention. Some I probably didn't need, but found for the right price. I also ordered new Math-U-See workbooks for everyone, including Delani, and Destini's grammar book.
Linking up:
Homegrown Learners

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Hidden Art of Homemaking - Prose & Poetry

Chapter 9 - Prose and Poetry
Writing is certainly a medium for communication, as all art forms are. It gives the opportunity for direct communication, for verbalizing thoughts and attitudes, for speaking truth and putting content into expression. p. 136 

Writing--another 'art' form that I struggle with. (If you followed me at all in this series you are probably thinking I either really needed this book or wondering why I even bothered to join up.) I think most of my feeling stem from my school days when I knew I was very inadequate when it came to writing (something that still haunts me as a homeschool mom). When it comes down to it I would rather talk.

Yes, I love to talk. I could talk all day and probably all night. I could sit down and tell you everything I have on my heart. Yes, I may struggle looking for the right word now and then, but for the most part I can be pretty verbose. But give me a pen and paper, or a empty word document, or an empty blog post and I really struggle to put down on paper or screen what I'm really feeling. And with my struggle to put pen to paper for prose, trust me, there isn't any poetry writing going on unless it includes helping my daughter write haiku's for school work!

Thankfully, Mrs. Schaeffer points out that it is okay to just do it just for one person, which makes me feel a lot better about having a blog because that is the exact reason why I started my blog--for myself.

I have always wanted to be a journaler, but every attempt I've made at it has for the most part failed. At times this really frustrates me since it basically leaves my family (or myself) without any kind of record of our lives. Even though I don't record as much as I would like on my blog, it does give a small glimpse into our lives (though a very sanitized one!).

Letter writing is now almost a lost art and is something I have always been terrible about. My husband and I have a box of letters from when we were dating. Most of his are two to three page letters filled front and back. Most of mine are one page long or a card with a little writing and my signature. He gives me a hard time about it, but I just tell him to be happy he even heard from me by a letter. Now our phone calls were a whole other story.

For some reason I do cherish written notes that I have received. I have a box where I have put cards and letters that mean something to me. My mom through out my life has written me special letters which are special to me.  Another special "letter" I cherish is  a very small booklet that my Grandma filled out in her own handwriting telling me about her life growing up.

A page from the booklet my Grandma gave me.

Even though I find writing a struggle I really enjoyed Mrs. Schaeffer's thoughts on presenting one's requests to God in writing, since this is something I do quite a bit. I have found that when I do this I can say exactly what I want to say and it clears my heart and mind of burdens that I have been carrying. When I write out my heart to God I feel I can be brutally honest. Mrs. Schaeffer sums it up so nicely.

Writing for God's eyes alone, with the understanding of His existence, and the realization that He reads it, and the expectancy of His answer, is vertical communication with God.

So writing our pleas, our praise, our prayers--this is not a one-sided communication. . . This is not a psychological gimmick nor a therapeutic exercise, but a relaxed and protected comforting communication with one's Father, Shepherd, Friend, Counsellor and mighty God. p.145
More from this series:
Chapter 1 (The First Artist)
Chapter 2 (What is Hidden Art?)
Chapter 3 (Music)
Chapter 4 (Painting, Sketching, Sculpturing)
Chapter 5 - Part 1 (Interior Decoration)
Chapter 5 - Part 2 (Interior Decoration)
Chapter 6 (Gardens and Gardening)
Chapter 7 (Flower Arrangements)
Chapter 8 (Food)

I am linking up with Cindy at Ordo Amoris.



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